GIFCon 2021 Workshops Announcement And Registration Details

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Find the full programme for GIFCon 2021 here.

Event registration here.

Creative workshops have been a feature of GIFCon since the very start and this year is going to be no different! You will find the workshop abstracts below, followed by the organizer’s bios. The Eventbrite links for registration will be shared to conference attendees closer to the date. All workshops take place on Thursday, April 29th from 11:00 to 12:15.

There are, however, some important things to note about this year’s event. Unlike the panels, the workshops will not be recorded for asynchronous watching so we ask you not to register if you cannot make the time, to allow for the spaces to be filled with active participants. Spaces are limited and we expect the tickets to go reasonably quickly. With that in mind, please only register for one workshop: they all take place at the same time and while we have no doubt that some of you can triple-monitor attend all three, we believe it will be better to focus your creative energy on one.

Well, Colour Me Brown! – A Creative and Critical Workshop on Writing Spec-Fic
Giti Chandra

The Workshop will bring together issues and questions that plague the non-white, anglophone, writer of speculative fiction, with creative ideas for addressing and resolving them in our thinking and writing. The 75 minutes will be divided into 5 parts.

Part 1    Issues and Questions: A brief overview
                i)             Language and translations
                ii)            Local and ‘world’ mythology
              iii)            Audience
              iv)           Race and representation

Part 2    Language and translations: keeping it local but making it accessible

Part 3    Local and ‘world’ mythology: how to level the playing field without ghettoizing

Part 4    Audience: to whom are you writing and who is reading you?

Part 5    Race and representation: how decolonized are we really?

For a maximum of 20 participants; group work and discussions, as well as actual writing and sharing should be possible.
Participants could bring along unfinished work that they would like to work on in the workshop, but this is not necessary.

Giti Chandra is currently Senior Researcher with the United Nations University in Reykjavik, and has been Associate Professor, Dept of English, at Stephen’s College, Delhi. Apart from published short stories and poetry, she is the author of The Book of Guardians Trilogy: The Fang of Summoning (Hachette: 2010), and The Bones of Stars (Hachette: 2013), and the third “The Eye of the Archer” due out in April, 2020.  Sadly, nobody cares about her first book, a groundbreaking academic work on violence, but the second one is going to be a bestseller. Giti writes poetry in April, paints on Wednesdays, has a PhD from Rutgers, and feels that people would do well do learn that a cello is not an oversized violin. She lives in Reykjavik with books, a husband, two kids, a dog, and a cat.  

Alienation and homecoming – writing in English as a non-dominant language
Karolina Fedyk

This workshop is intended primarily for multilingual writers (particularly those for whom English is their non-dominant and/or not their first language) and/or non-Western English speakers, but everyone interested in the topic is encouraged to join.

The aim of the workshop is to construct a framework for non-standard English as a unique means of writing and storytelling derived from personal linguistic experience. We will discuss how speaking other languages can influence and complement writing in English. We will cover prose rhythm across languages, dialects, code-switching and code-mixing as well as cultural phenomena. The workshop will foster an inclusive atmosphere where we can become better writers and more compassionate readers.

The workshop can accommodate up to 10 participants.

Karolina Fedyk writes speculative fiction and poetry about lost histories, found families, and futures born out of resistance and resilience. Their work has been published in Fireside Fiction and Strange Horizons, among other venues, and they’re a Viable Paradise alum. Their debut novel, Skrzydła, was published in Poland last year by SQN Imaginatio. They enjoy knitting, LARP, and looking for owls and kestrels. 

Small Tools, Small Games, Small Memories : A GAME Making WORKSHOP
Fruzsina Pittner

When video games are discussed both in and outside of academia, one much-prevailing narrative that surfaces in conversation is that developing interactive pieces is almost always a huge undertaking requiring sizable teams of developers with decades of expertise and knowledge. This is certainly true to a certain subset of video game development—triple A (AAA) video game studios often employ teams made up of upwards of 1000 people, all of whom work in highly specialised fields to bring video games that sit at the height of technological achievement to the market.

This is not all there is to video game development and video game making, however. Over the years, more and more tools began to emerge that make it possible for non-experts to create interactive experiences that, while often limited in scope, are certainly not limited in their capability to enable the making of imaginative interactive pieces. “Small tools” such as Adam Le Doux’s Bitsy, which places its focus on low graphics exploration-based narrative games, and Chris Klimas’ Twine that centers choice-based text adventures;make it possible to create impactful narrative-focused games that invite makers with little to no familiarity with game development practices to the table.

This workshop is open to those who are interested in making narrative games, but are less or not at all familiar with the industry standard technology to start. Using either Bitsy or Twine, participants of the workshop will focus on finding ways to tell an interactive story centered around a memory. They will be introduced to each tool and the simplest ways to use them, and will be invited to create their own game during the workshop which they can finish or polish afterward. Finished pieces can then be published and displayed in an collection and the GIFCon website.

Participant number: 15.

Mode of delivery: Zoom or Discord are both fine, and I’ll be available for questions afterwards via email, discord and twitter.

Pre-requisites & accessibility: Both proposed game making tools are browser-based and low impact, no high-end PC specs necessary.

Fruzsina Pittner is a video game artist, digital illustrator and current PhD candidate at the University of Dundee. She is a member of BIOME Collective, a multicultural co-working and game development group, as well as the Scottish Centre for Global History; and her research projects bring together illustration, digital comics, computer games and afrocentric speculative literature to investigate the relationships between storytelling, interaction and social change.